First Impressions are our weekly roundtable reviews sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week Troye Sivan, Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis, Noah Kahan, Towkio, Camila Cabello and Craig David face the jury.
Troye Sivan – My My My!
Ti Butler: I mean it’s quite good really isn’t it. I’m not really into boys but Troye can do whatever he wants with me. 7 out of 5 it’s that good.
Annie Cooper: I’ve obviously been sleeping on Troye, because this song is a bop. He sounds really self-assured and confident here, and it’s certainly working in his favour. Plus, the video is serving me Footloose vibes and I’m here for it. 4
Sam Murphy: Troye did THAT. I was always going to listen to his return but if I’m being totally honest Blue Neighbourhood was not the pop saviour some made it out to be. This, however, is. It’s unapologetic, bold and honest and feels like he’s finally stepped into his own. The question I asked before I listened to this was, “could it be a Robyn single?” I’m pleased to announce the answer is yes. 5
Jorja Smith – Let Me Down (Feat. Stormzy)
Ti: So Jorja Smith won the BRITs Critics Choice award this year, which means she’ll either end up like a Sam Smith, or a Tom Odell. Love her voice, like the chorus, like the Stormzy feature, I just… wouldn’t seek it out to listen to it? It’s definitely not a bad song. 3
Annie: Jorja Smith has such an interesting voice, that even if this song was absolute trash I would probably still like it. Fortunately, it’s really quite good. I was a bit concerned with how the Stormzy feature would pan out, as he and Jorja aren’t a pairing that immediately made sense to me, but it adds some extra sass to the track that makes it stand out. 3
Sam: If it weren’t for Troye this would easily be my favorite song of the week. Jorja gives these vocals like they’re being delivered to you in real time. She’s so unedited and flawed and that’s the best thing about it. Total raw emotion that’s matched by an unusually demure Stormzy verse. It all works and I really think this is one of her greatest moments to date. 4.5
Kali Uchis – After The Storm (Feat. Tyler The Creator & Bootsy Collins)
Ti: One of my friends was drunk tweeting last night and tweeted that she was listening to “some late night Kali Uchis. Feat Tyler The Creator, Who is a shit but I give him AN EIGHTH of a pass cos this song is The Shit” which really sums up the whole affair quite nicely. ?
Annie: I feel like I’m meant to like this. Everything from the beat, to the guest feature by Tyler The Creator is right up my alley, but it’s just not cutting it for me. I just feel like it needs something more? I don’t know, maybe it will grow on me. 2.5
Sam: Many attempt to make vintage music but few actually succeed. Uchis genuinely sounds like she’s from another period but also simultaneously from the future which, let me tell you, is not easy. This cut is so steady. She just falls back in the beat and relies on those sun-drenched vocals. I love her and Tyler together. It’s really not a collab I would’ve picked a few years ago but now I want the collab album. 4
Craig David – Live In The Moment (Feat. GoldLink) (Prod. By Kaytranada)
Ti: It’s good but it’s not as good as when Craig David does his TS5 radio show and sings/MCs all his mic breaks. 3
Annie: At this point, Kaytranada could drop a track of himself ugly crying into a microphone for 5 minutes and it would still make its way into my top 100 Spotify list. Regardless, this goes off. Craig David and GoldLink are a duo I never knew I needed until now. They work so well together, and along with Kaytranada’s masterful production this is by far the funnest track I’ve heard in a minute. 4.5 Annie’s Pick
Sam: I’m sad to say I feel the Craig David renaissance is coming to an end. It was fun while it lasted but let’s all be honest and say that this would be far better if it was just a Kaytranada and GoldLink jam. 2.5
Camila Cabello – She Loves Control
Ti: There’s a lot here that I like. I like the subtlety of the guitar lick; I like the monster of the brass bit – you know the “braaap-braaap-BRAAP!” bit? That bit’s good. It’s not the best song on Camila, because both Havana and Never Be The Same are on Camila, but it’s still solid. 3
Annie: So far, I haven’t been feeling post Fifth Harmony Camila, and this track is no exception. I realise, given the success of Havana, that I’m likely an outlier, but I just feel that her voice works better in a group. This track is fine, but I probably won’t be relistening. 2
Sam: Not my favourite from the album but it’s the most obvious follow-up hit. It’s got this real power behind it and Camila’s vocal is bloody strong. I think of all the popstars making this dancehall-infused music right now Camila is the most believable. 3.5
Towkio – Symphony
Annie: Oooooh, this song is catchy. It’s weirdly kind of like, a 2018 version of JT’s ‘My Love’. Not what I expected, but I’m into it. 3
Ti: Um, that might be because of the ‘My Love’ sample on the chorus, though to be fair it’s easy to miss given everything going on around it. I do prefer that kind of sample to the kind thats just lifting the chorus from one song and making it the chorus of your new song. 3
Sam: Loved this from the minute I heard it. It’s got this rollicking energy that’s infectious from the first second. I’m getting Theophilus London Tribe vibes and Chance The Rapper All Night feels which is very good. I didn’t pick up the sample but I was probably recovering from the furious pace of the verse at that point. 4
Noah Kahan and Julia Michaels – Hurt Somebody
Ti: This has to be a smash. It’s so simple, and so honest, and it just connects. I love the way it picks up heading into the second verse, and the way it builds momentum. Julia Michaels can do no wrong. Noah Kagan’s voice is made for radio. This is genius. 4.5
Annie: I’m not really into simple duets, but this song is really sweet. Their voices are really complementary of each other, and it just works as a whole. It’s something different for me, so I’m surprised by how much I like it. 3
Sam: It’s definitely a strong pop song but his voice immediately reminded me of James Blunt and I just couldn’t do it from that point onwards. That said, I couldn’t stand Julia Michaels voice this time last year and here I am rewinding her voice over and over so I’m a walking contradiction. 2.5